It’s like 10,000 short stories when all you need is a finished draft

So one of my goals this month was to finish a third short story, following No One Can Slay Her and Rabbits Indignateonem last month. I settled on Only the Lonely Can Slay, in which a mystery woman offers to kill my protagonist’s abusive husband for five bucks (yes, there’s a fantasy element).

It didn’t happen. Partly because I’m not a fast writer, but also because, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly, the schedule I blocked out for February suffered the death of a thousand cuts. Plus I lost three days traveling to Mysticon. So I don’t feel I massively screwed up, which doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

Part of the frustration is that I have so many short stories in various phases of completion, it’s hard to know which one to focus on. Which leads to the nagging fear I picked the wrong one. Would I be finished (or closer to finishing at least) by now if I’d concentrated on Bleeding Blue or Pro Bono instead? Is Only the Lonely a dead end? Am I wasting my time trying to finish it?

It doesn’t help that I know from experience my unsuccessful early drafts usually evolve into something good via repeated rewrites. But not always; a lot of drafts on my computer will probably never reach final form for one reason or another. So during the intermediate rewrite phases, there’s always a fear I’m just spinning my wheels and the story will never gain traction.

It’s like … a crazy maze (thank you Jack Kirby for that visual). And I don’t know which of my stories will lead me out (hopefully most of the ones I have under construction) and which will do it fastest.

I definitely didn’t get an answer this month. Hopefully March will do better.

#SFWApro. All rights to image remain with current holder.


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Filed under Short Stories, Writing

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